Sunday, June 8, 2008

BFL from ewwwwwww to ahhhhhhhhhhh and Raw Wool finds

As previously written, given the heat of the weekend, my plans have been predominately fiber related.

Friday I had some of the most amazing Blue Faced Leicester that needed to be scoured to remove the lanolin and any dirt. The fleece hinted at being snowy white and amazingly beautiful when spun up.
It was late, the kids were asleep and the fleece wasn't washing itself, so I got out the wash tub, and filled it with detergent and the hottest water my tap produced.

I was not disappointed - when clean (after about 5 soak/rinse combo's) it was snowy white, and I set it out to dry.

It was very late when we got to sleep - the kids woke at 2:30 and it was emotional trauma time as one of them had a nightmare screaming enough to wake the other and leave me with two frightened kids.

At 9am instead of being on the road, I was in the shower, but caught up pretty fast so we could pick up [info]sunshyn689 and get over to the farm. I have to say I love my GPS, as we might have gotten lost if not for it.

We selected a Tunis and a Southdown fleece, and then as the fiber mill is only 2 miles away and we bought 10 pounds of fleece we dropped all but a small amount off for the processor to turn into roving for dying and spinning... and it's really nice to have a connection with a local fiber source. Plus - those fleeces were well skirted so I know we didn't buy bags of rocks or dung.

We have to wait until October for them to get back, but we held back a small amount for [info]sunshyn689 to learn on... and when we got back to her house she pulled out a dish tub and started scouring her first batch of wool. I have to say I'm tickled pink at how well she's picking it all up, but she's not a stupid woman, so that makes it a lot better. I'll bring my drum carder and a diz next weekend to her house and on Saturday morning we'll finish processing that fleece. We'll decide once we have made roving if we're going to go straight to spinning or if she'll want to dye it first. My first thought is to just spin it and move on from there.

Last night I pulled what was dry off my porch and sat for an hour flicking it out (which means I opened the locks to make it fluffy for carding and had a couple of medium boxes full of fluff ready to be put through the drum carder. Lesson the first however was no matter how clean you think you got your wool, it's still going to drop small bits of dirt and vegetable matter. Doing it on the couch without a drop cloth produces an awful mess on your once clean shirt and shorts.

The BFL that I cleaned the night before and spent time flicking out before running through my drum carder turned out amazing, and I'm really excited about plying it with something... not sure what right now, so I'll be taking it off the bobbin and balling it so the singles can go a little stale before I ply it. I'm not sure what I'll ply it with right now...

My Jumbo flyer for my wheel is broken again, so plans today had me going to "In Sheeps Clothing" but they were closed today, and then back to the inlaws for strawberry shortcake. Lemme tell you that 40MPG is awesome and my new car has 205 miles on it now. We drove about the Litchfield hills before picking the kids back up at the inlaws. Tonight I sat with some Mohair and Romney and hand blended in preparation for working on the drum carder again. Getting the kids to bed much earlier has been a godsend for me in getting anything fibery done. Yay for that!

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